Decision likely to happen after the classics
Despite reports to the contrary, Trek Factory Racing say that no decisions have been made on the date and location of Fabian Cancellara's hour record attempt.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported today that the Swiss time triallist would be making his bid on August 3, in Aguascalientes, Mexico. However, Trek say that they are still talking with a number of tracks around the world, of which Aguascalientes is one, including Mallorca and Manchester.
No date has been set either, with the team saying a decision will not happen until after the Classics at the earliest. "We are still going full gas on trying to repeat the success of last year," team spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd told Cyclingnews.
In 2013, Cancellara won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, for the second time in his career. Currently, Cancellara is racing at the Tour of Oman as he builds up towards his classics campaign.
The hour record has stood since 2005, when it was set by little known Acqua e Sapone rider Ondrej Sosenka. His distance of 49.7 kilometres is what Cancellara is aiming to beat.
In the past, the hour record was seen as one of the ultimate achievements, with riders such as Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Jacques Anquetil and Fausto Coppi all laying down records.
These days, riders are not allowed to use time trial helmets, disc or tri-spoke wheels, aerodynamic bars or monocoque frames. Aggressive riding positions, such as Graeme Obree’s superman position, are banned too.
The hour record has suffered it’s fair share of scandal. Moser admitted to using a blood transfusion to assist him in his attempt, although it was not banned at the time. Anquetil’s second record was stripped from the books after he refused to take a post-attempt anti-doping test. The most recent holder was later banned for doping infractions too.
Since Sosenka’s attempt, it has fallen out of favour. However, it was recently revived with Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins both saying that they would try to beat the record at some point in the next 12 months. Current time trial world champion Tony Martin hasn’t totally disregarded a bid for it either.
Cancellara announced his intentions to attempt the hour record last year. Since then rumours have spread as to where and when it would take place. The Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico has been one of the favourites.
Mexico became popular with riders attempting the hour, due to its altitude. Four of the last six were set on the track Mexico City.
Aguascalientes also has prior when it comes to setting records. Of the 17 available records on the track, not including the hour its self, nine have been set in the Mexican velodrome. However, only one of those is an endurance event; the women’s 4000m pursuit. If Cancellara were to go to the Mexican track, it would be a fine balance between the speed gained by the altitude and the lack of oxygen to fuel his hard-working muscles.